Making critical decisions about end of life care shouldn't be made during a crisis, but they should be made by you. Sioux Falls Dr. Michael Tobin is going to help broach a difficult topic before you find yourself in a very difficult situation.
Dr. Michael Tobin, an Internist with the Main McGreevy Clinic Avera in Sioux Falls has also been the Medical Director at Avera Prince of Peace since it opened in 1986. He has watched as our aging population has grown in size and long term care facilities like Prince of Peace expand to accommodate. That demand is only going get greater especially when you consider in January of this year 10,000 Baby Boomers a day started to enroll in Social Security and it's going to continue for the next 20 years.
Dr. Tobin says, "There's a large number in that group who will become more debilitated, frail and have 3 or 4 chronic illnesses who might run into a crisis in their health care and have to make a decision on how aggressive they want to be treated."
If your health is declining, do you want extraordinary measures to be performed to keep you alive? Do you want resuscitation? Intubation? A feeding tube?
Avera Home Hospice Manager Linda Schmid says, "One of the problems you get in to during a crisis is you can't think straight. It is important people have choices at end of life or as the disease progresses. It's good to be educated and informed.
Schmid says an Advanced Directive (a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care) is important for everyone not just those who are terminally ill. The experts say if you don't express your wishes it could end up a battle at the bedside because then family members are left to guess what you would have wanted. It can tear families up. By deciding a head of time, it takes the pressure off the ones you love.
Schmid say, "If you don't put it in writing, if you don't tell your doctor, if you don't tell your family you have everything done to you until someone says stop."
I know he didn't invent it, but my dad always said there are two things you can always count on in this life; death and taxes. We can't control when we die, but sometimes we can control the manner. It's your destiny. You decide. Then document.
Dr. Tobin is the guest speaker for the "Planning for the Future" Seminar on May 20th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at Avera Prince of Peace in Sioux Falls. It's free but you need to register by calling (605) 322-5600.